How to not get customers
July 6, 2011
I’ve never really cared much about live flowers…until I started planning this wedding. All of the wedding inspiration blogs are full of gorgeous floral arrangments that are just so beautiful…
Now whenever I go by a florist, I gaze longingly in the window checking to see if there are peonies or garden roses or perhaps some exotic flower I’ve never seen before (not that hard to do). I withdrew cash from an ATM this weekend specifically for the hope that I would ever get out of work early enough to buy some of the goods from the cash-only flower stand in MGH station.
Here are some beautiful arrangements that are different than the standard roses or calla lillies:
So now that the requisite blog eye-candy is out of the way, let me tell you about a florist…
(WARNING: This post is a lot of text, but imagine me complaining outloud the whole time and maybe it will go faster…)
Two weekends ago, Jason and I went to his parents’ house to meet with some people about the wedding and take care of various things that needed to bet taken care of. Friday Jason had to work for his job remotely, so I was on my own. We hadn’t decided what to do about the rehearsal dinner at that point so I thought I would go check out the White Inn, the town’s only semi-nice restaurant. One of Jason’s parents mentioned a florist they knew in town and since I haven’t made any major decisions about the flowers, I thought I would stop by since the Inn and the florist were next to each other (as is everything in that town).
I was basically ambivalent about the whole thing: I had decided long ago that I would arrange my own flowers (and by that I mean me and the army of other women (love you guys!) who would be present in the days before the wedding) so I just thought this would be a way to get some professional say on what is available at the time and mostly to get a sample quote because I just had no idea what a florist would cost (hundreds? thousands? either could be true, but its off by a factor of ten!). Jason’s mom, Sue, came along to enjoy the ride and also because she had to return a bag of whole bean coffee she had bought for our visit rather than ground coffee (So much trouble for little old us!). So we went to the White Inn and inquired about large dinner parties and it turned out to be a reasonable price ($20/head approx) but even so, still more than we can afford for the dinner.
We then went the the florist. It took us about five times as long (5 minutes instead of 1minute) as it should have to drive basically across the street due to one way streets and weird parking lots.
So eventually we arrived and met the florist, who seemed nice enough. She pulls out a notepad that has blanks to collect information about what kind of arrangements I wanted. We started out talking about colors and the vibe of the wedding and oh let’s see your dress. She exclaimed soooo loudly over how wonderful my dress was, but so has every vendor I’ve ever talked to, so I’m thinking this is a ploy to get me to like them. Anyway, we got the basics: colors-white, yellow, green; casual vibe, dress looks like my dress. She asks me what I had in mind and I say basically not roses and something with lots of texture and variety.
So she pulls out some white flowers and arranges them and it looks very nice! I wondered aloud whether it should have any colors to fit the color scheme, and she added some pink rosebuds and it was all very pretty. Looks great!
Somewhere in the discussion she asks me who I’m getting to do my hair and makeup. I say that I was going to hire someone in Rochester, recommended by my photographers.
Immediately offended, she screeches “ROCHESTER! Why on earth would you hire someone in Rochester?! That MUST be SO expensive!! I can’t believe anyone would do that! I know a person next door….” and she marches off to next door and brings in a hairstylist from the salon next door. I try to be polite, and she does have a point that Rochester IS very far and it IS kind of expensive, but that was a little uncalled for.
Ok, so the discussion moves on and she throws in a question about the cake. I mention that we have a meeting with our friend in (guess where) Rochester to discuss that.
Even further offended she says things like “THAT’S CRAZY!! I can’t BELIEVE you would go all the way to ROCHESTER!”. I say something like I lived there for 6 years so I’m just very comfortable there, but nothing would comfort her on the ENORMOUS amounts of MONEY and EFFORT that Rochester MUST be costing me. And she just so happened to know a great baker! Not too far away! Her sister! Here’s her business card!
I say thanks, and she says, you should really look locally for these things! I say that I tried, but a lot of businesses in small towns (and this is preeeeetty small) don’t have websites and it’s very difficult to find them from Boston without websites. “WELL”, she says indignantly, “Haven’t you ever heard of a phonebook?!”. I say of course I have, but why would I have this phonebook?? She explains how she always tries to encourage her sister to get a website and how whenever the people come asking her to advertise in the phonebook she says why should she do that, no one looks at that anymore?
OK well…did you just contradict yourself?
So then we start talking about the boutonnieres (or bouts in weddingblogland). I mention that Jason really likes craspedia. They are yellow and very trendy in weddings now.
When first mentioned she gave me a blank stare.
Ok, so this florist hasn’t heard of one of the most popular flowers in weddings right now…
I mentioned another name they had: “billy balls”. Still blank. I pulled up a picture on my phone.
Florist: “OHH no, we can’t do that.”
Me: “Why not?”
F: “Well those are yellow”
M: “Yes, one of the main colors of our wedding”
F: “Well you’ll have to take that out, there’s none in your bouquet.”
M: “Well I don’t care that much how much they match, but we could put some in the bouquet.”
F: ” OOHH no, that would look terrible, trust me. I’ve been doing this for 15 years, so I know.”
M: “….The groomsmen are wearing yellow ties, so…I think it would be fine.”
F: “OOHH no, they should wear green. Tell them to wear green ties. Also, your fiance needs to wear a green tie.”
M: “…Ok, we’ll see”
The meeting wrapped up and she promised a quote in a few days for what we had talked about. I was really annoyed at this woman telling me that I couldn’t have yellow (??) and then deciding that I should change what the boys wear? And then telling me how stupid I was for going to Rochester???? NOT HOW TO TREAT CUSTOMERS.
I still haven’t gotten the quote. It’s been 3 weeks.